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Human Rights and Human Rights Based Approach. Alan Skurbaty UN Human Rights Advisor for UN System in Ukraine. Action 2 Learning Human Rights Together. The UN and Human Rights - Historical Approach and “ marching orders ” What are Human Rights? The UN Human Rights System

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Human Rights and Human Rights Based Approach


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    1. Human Rights andHuman Rights Based Approach • Alan Skurbaty • UN Human Rights Advisor for UN System in Ukraine Action 2 Learning Human Rights Together

    2. The UN and Human Rights - Historical Approach and “marching orders” What are Human Rights? The UN Human Rights System Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) Treaty Bodies / Special Procedure recommendations related to Ukraine The UN Country Team’s Role in the Promotion and Protection of HR Overview

    3. Understand the UN Human Rights System Base your future programming and implementation work on the legal basis of the UN Human Rights System Understand how to apply the Human Rights Based Approach What will be the “Message” of the Introductory Training

    4. The UN and Human Rights Session 1 Action 2 Learning Human Rights Together

    5. Human rights stood at the very beginning of the UN 1945Art 1 Charter of theUN:…”promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion…” 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights Following years: Adoption of a number of HR Conventions (Treaties), e.g. ICCPR, ICESCR, CERD, CEDAW, CAT, CRC and CMW The UN and Human Rights

    6. UN Charter UDHR Cold War Development Human Rights Peace & Security humanitarian action Vienna Beijing Copenhagen Cairo UN Reform Agenda 1997/2005

    7. 1993 UN World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna Vienna Declaration 1993, Para 5: “All Human Rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated. The international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis”. Post of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights created Following years: UN Global Conferences (Copenhagen, Vienna, Beijing, Cairo etc.) started to emphasize linkages between human development and human rights; and stressed in particular that women’s human rights are (central to) human rights. Milestones of the UN Reform

    8. 1997 Secretary General’s UN Reform Program human rights are inherent to the promotion of peace, security, economic prosperity and social equity “…mainstreaming Human rights based approach into development cooperation…” Unified approach at country level (CCA, UNDAF) 2000 Millennium Summit / Millennium Declaration / MDGs The Millennium Declaration is a much broader concept than just eight goals MD reiterated the importance of protection and prmotion of Human Rights for all Milestones of the UN Reform

    9. 2002 Report of the UN SG: Strengthening of the UN: An Agenda for Further Change (Para. 45): “The promotion and protection of Human Rights is a bedrock requirement for the realization of the Charter’s vision of a just and peaceful world” Action 2 “ The UNHCHR will develop and implement a plan … to strengthen human rights-related United Nations actions at the country level” The essence of the Action 2 programme: “… a global programme designed to strengthen the capacity of UN country teams to support the efforts of member States, at their request, in strengthening their national human rights promotion and protection system Milestones of the UN Reform

    10. UN SG Report “In Larger Freedom”, 2005 “ Even if he can vote to choose his rulers, a young man with AIDS who cannot read or write and lives on the brink of starvation is not truly free. Equally, even if she earns enough to live, a woman who lives in the shadow of daily violence and has no say in how her country is run is not truly free. Larger freedom implies that men and women everywhere have the right to be governed by their own consent, under law, in a society where all individuals can, without discrimination or retribution, speak, worship and associate freely. They must also be free from want- so that the death sentences of extreme poverty and infectious disease are lifted from their lives- and free from fear- so that their lives and livelihoods are not ripped apart by violence and war” Substantive LinkagesHR and Development

    11. 2005 World Summit Outcome: Members states… “ “We recommit ourselves to actively promoting and protecting all human rights and the rule of law and democracy and recognize that they are linked and mutually reinforcing and that they belong to the universal and indivisible core values and principles of the UN and call upon all parts of the UN to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with their mandates.” 2005 World Summit Outcome, section IV Human Rights and Rule of Law “We resolve to integrate the promotion and protection of human rights into national policies and to support the further mainstreaming of human rights throughout the United Nations system, as well as closer cooperation between the OHCHR and all relevant UN bodies.” 2005 World Summit Outcome, section IV Human Rights and Rule of Law Member states resolve to mainstream human rights in their national policies

    12. The linkages between… Human Development… Is the process of enhancing people’s capabilities to expand choices and opportunities so that each person can lead a life of respect and valuefreedom and dignity need the legal guarantees of human rights to avoid being threatened …and Human rights…All people have claims to social arrangements that protect them from the worst abuses and deprivations-and that secure the freedom for a life of dignityThe realization of human rights requires capacities that development can make possible

    13. Similarities: Common objectives Both provide tools for accountability Progressively realized Similar guiding principles Gender equality is integral to both human rights and the MDGs Programming complementarities: Identify for each MDG the interrelated human rights and the steps to be taken to realize those rights in national context Human rights standards add quality to MDGs numeric targets human rights adds quality to the process for achieving MDGs Human rights help reduce disparities in human development Human Rights and MDGsReciprocal relationship

    14. Agency level: HR are Integrated in the mandates and policies of UN agencies, funds, programmes and specialized agencies, e.g. UNHCR, UNICEF, UNDP, UNIFEM, UNFPA, WHO… HRBA: to adopt human rights principles and standards as the basis for a conceptual and methodological framework for the agencies work. UN Agency and Interagency Commitments to Human Rights

    15. Inter-agency level: UN Common Understanding on HRBA to Development (2003) Action 2 - Plan of Action (UNDG/UN Development Group, ECHA and OHCHR) Increasing number of UNCTs have adopted the HRBA Revised CCA/UNDAF Guidelines Hint: have a look at www.undg.org UN Agency and Interagency Commitments to Human Rights

    16. What are (international) Human Rights? Session 2 Action 2 Learning Human Rights Together

    17. What are (international) Human Rights? * Universal legal guarantees;Human Rights are universal legal guarantees protecting individuals and groups against actions and omissions that interfere with fundamental freedoms, entitlements and human dignity* Civil, political, economic, social and culturalAll human rights are indivisible which means thatwhether of a civil, cultural, economic, political or social nature, they are all inherent to the dignity of every human person. Consequently, they all have equal status as rights, and cannot be ranked. They are also interdependent and interrelated, which means that the realization of one right depends, wholly or in part, upon the realization of others.

    18. What are (intern.) Human Rights? …protect human values (freedom, equality, dignity)…inherent to individuals and, to some extent, groups;Human rights protect individuals and, to some extent, groups. Certain rights can be assured only through the recognition and protection of individual’s rights as members of a group. The term “collective rights” refers to the rights of such peoples and groups, including ethnic and religious minorities and indigenous peoples.

    19. What are (internat.) Human Rights? reflected in international norms and standardsThe treaties, including the seven core international human rights treaties – ICCPR, ICESCR, CERD, CEDAW, CAT, CRC and CMW – provide the normative framework of human rights standards.”

    20. What are Human Rights? …legally binding on States.In general terms, it is the State that bears the main obligation to respect and ensure human rights guarantees under international law. However, it is increasingly recognized that non-State actors, including corporations and international organizations, may likewise have responsibilities to varying degrees under international human rights instruments.

    21. Human Rights Obligations Duty-bearer’s obligation to Respect Protect Fulfill refrain from interfering with the enjoyment of the right prevent others from interfering with the enjoyment of a right adopt appropriate measures towards full realization of the right

    22. States Parties have specific obligations to respect, protect, and fulfil the rights recognized in the treaty and to take the necessary action towards their implementation. All rights, to varying degrees, entail obligations of an immediate kind, such as the obligation not to discriminate in the realization of the right in question. In the case of economic, social and cultural rights in particular, obligations can also be of a progressive kind, the realization of the right being subject to resource constraints. State is the primary duty bearer under international law

    23. Human Rights Entitlement Rights holders Individuals Groups Every individual is a rights-holder and entitled to the same rights without distinction To some extent groups are also entitled to human rights (e.g. minority- or ethnic groups)

    24. International, Regional and National Human Rights Systems Session 3 Action 2 Learning Human Rights Together

    25. Human Rights Systems ICCPR ICESCR CERD CEDAW UN Charter UDHR HRC CRC CAT Other International Instruments CMW Regional Regimes

    26. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not a “treaty” but a “declaration”, and therefore not directly legally binding, as treaties are, but it is important because: It is of a high moral force, representing the first internationally agreed definition of the human rights of all people. It laid the groundwork for the existing treaty structure and body of human rights law. It emphasizes the universality, indivisibility, interrelatedness and interdependence of all human rights, reaffirmed many years later in the 1993 Declaration of the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights and more recently in 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

    27. All in all there are some 100 treaties, declarations, guidelines, recommendations and principles which together set out the human rights standards. Among them seven are called the core international treaties The state limits its sovereignty regarding the issues of the Treaty and commits himself to provide for the minimum standards outlined in the Convention Seven Core International Human Rights Treaties

    28. The Treaties / Conventions normally consist of two mayor parts: Part one: the guaranteed rights (established obligations) Part two: establishment of an institution (Treaty Body/committee) and of procedures (reporting obligation, concluding comments, general comments), to ensure compliance Ukraine has acceded all seven Core Treaties but not all optional protocols Seven Core International Human Rights Treaties

    29. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights(ICESCR)1966 Art 2, 1. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take steps, individually and through international assistance and co-operation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights…. Seven Core International Human Rights Treaties

    30. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights(ICCPR) 1966 and its Optional Protocol on the Right of Individual Communications and Second Optional Protocol aiming at the abolition of the death penalty (not signed by Kyrgyz Republic) Seven Core International Human Rights Treaties

    31. Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination(CERD) 1966 Art 2:States Parties condemn racial discrimination and undertake to pursue by all appropriate means andwithout delay a policy of eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms and promoting understandingamong all races… Seven Core International Human Rights Treaties

    32. Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women(CEDAW) 1979 and its Optional Protocol on the Right of Individual or Group Communications Article 2States Parties condemn discrimination against women in all its forms, agree to pursue by allappropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against women ….. Article 4: “… temporary special measures aimed at accelerating de facto equality between men and women shall not be considered discrimination…” Seven Core International Human Rights Treaties

    33. Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment(CAT) 1984 Optional Protocol Seven Core International Human Rights Treaties

    34. Convention on the Rights of the Child(CRC) 1989 and its Optional Protocols on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflicts Seven Core International Human Rights Treaties

    35. Convention on the Protection of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families(CMW) 1990 Regulates rights of (legal and illegal) migrant workers and their families Main duty bearer: State of employment Convention acceded by Ukraine; however not acceded by Russia and Kazakhstan Seven Core International Human Rights Treaties

    36. Two new conventions have been adopted by the General Assembly in 2006 but are waiting for a number of ratifications from member states to come into force Convention on therights of persons with disabilities (+ Optional Protocol) International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance Two New Conventions

    37. Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, adopted on 28 July 1951 (precondition: crossing of a border) Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, General Assembly Resolution 1966 For Internal Displaced Persons: Guiding Principles of Internal Displacement 1998 Protection of Refugees

    38. International Humanitarian Law… The Four Geneva Conventions (1949) 1) on the care of the wounded and sick members of armed forces in the field 2) on the care of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked members of armed forces at sea 3) on the treatment of prisoners of war 4) on the protection of civilian persons in time of war Mandated with the implementation is the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Is a set of rules which seek to limit the effects of armed conflict Protects persons who are not or are no longer taking part in hostilities Restricts the means and methods of warfare

    39. National Human Rights Protection Systems (NHRPS) • Constitutional and Legislative frameworks • Effective Institutions (Parliaments, Governments, Judiciary, public administration, HR institutions) • Policies, procedures and processes • Vibrant civil society

    40. Links between international, regional and national systems International and regional norms require national implementation to be effective National norms should be consistent with international and regional Standards (hierarchy of norms) International and regional judicial protection when national remedieshave been exhausted International and regional protection is complementary

    41. International Mechanismsto secure fulfillment of Conventions Human Rights Council Treaty Bodies Reporting obligations of each State Party Special Procedures 1503 Complaints procedure

    42. The Human Rights Council What is it ? A subsidiary body of the General Assembly composed of Members States. It replaces the UN Commission on Human Rights What does it do ? *Promotes universal protection *Addresses and prevents violations *Develops international law *Reviews compliance of Member States *Responds to emergencies *International forum for dialogue

    43. International Mechanisms:The Role of Treaty Bodies (TB) Monitor and facilitate the Implementation of the Treaty through: Exam of State Party reports and additional sources of information TB issue observations and recommendations TBs issue General Comments on HR Standards contained in the treaty Exam of individual complaints (some of them) Confidential inquiries (some of them)

    44. Treaty bodies

    45. International Mechanisms:Special Procedures Individuals (e.g. Special Rapporteurs) or working groups Countries Belarus – Burundi Cambodia – Cuba DPRK – D.R. Congo Haiti - Liberia Myanmar – OPTs Somalia – Sudan 28 Thematic, including: Adequate Housing - Arbitrary Detention – Sale of Children Right to Education - Extreme Poverty Right to Food – Freedom of Opinion Right to Health – rights of migrants independence of judges an lawyers Freedom of Religion – Migrants Minority issues – Trafficking of persons Toxic and products and wastes - Torture – Violence Against Women

    46. Special Procedures: Country Visits Communications, Statements Thematic studies

    47. In applying the human rights-based approach these measures can be identified as priority areas and possible entry points for UN assistance: Harmonise national law and policy with the provisions of the Convention. Create human rights mechanisms or strengthen existing ones at the national or local level for coordinating policies and for monitoring Make the principles and provisions of the treaty widely known. Provide adequate remedies in the case of non-compliance. Allocate budgets to programmes that aim to fulfil human rights. Submit periodic reports to the TB on the progress achieved and obstacles encountered in the implementation of the treaty. UN Country Teams Role

    48. To sum up: Instrumental Value of International Mechanisms in UN work Assessment tool: Identify main development and human rights problems Analytical tool:Help understand underlying and root causes of development problems Programming tool:Identify specific actions Advocacy tool:bring attention to sensitive issues at a legal, policy, budget or practice level Country-based observations and recommendation Global Treaty Bodies' General Comments Special procedures’ Thematic studies